A pretty perfect spot for meditation on my recent vacation…
There was a box on my desk waiting for me when I returned from vacation last week. I knew what it was – the flyers I had designed and ordered before I left. Even though it was just flyers, opening it felt a little like Christmas – just the act of feeling the weight of the box, tearing the tape, sifting through the paper inside, opening the plastic wrap, and then…
Disappointment. The flyer I had painstakingly designed wasn’t perfect. One of the images was a little grainy, the colors were offset. Not the biggest deal in the world – I have bigger problems, but still…
In the next moment, I turned to my office manager Shari and said, “Eh, they’re good enough.”
I moved onto the next thing.
I had just come back from vacation. I was awfully relaxed. Still, this attitude was a new kind of relief. In the past, I might have fretted about the flyer not being just how I wanted, how this might reflect on my business, on myself. But I honestly couldn’t really bother. In the big picture, it was a little thing.
So anyway, how did I get here? To this place of “they’re good enough?”
If you’re running a small business, there is always an eye on what you need to do in order to expand rather than contract. To keep growing. Part of it is just making sure you are surviving in a challenging world, but even when things are going pretty well, there is a constant pull toward more. Really, it’s not just small businesses, or even business in general, but our whole culture that pushes us to constantly strive to increase what we have. No matter what we do for a living, most of us find ourselves driven, trying to accomplish, trying to better our circumstances. How many of us feel like we are never quite satisfied with what we have?
Despite running a yoga business (somehow it should be more enlightened, right?), and my years of practice and teaching, I am no exception to this. For better or worse, I can be driven, ambitious, focused on results, and perfectionistic. Lately though? All of that has felt a bit exhausting.
There is a part of me that has felt done with it all. Done with trying so hard. Done with striving to grow, done with worrying about the flyer that’s not perfect.
I’ve been through lots of spaces about this – ready to throw in the towel, fantasizing about escaping to a cabin in the woods and never coming back, buckling down and working hard and recommitting, deciding that maybe I just need a vacation…so I go on vacation, and come back to the piles of emails and the to do list that has gotten longer.
I could get overwhelmed, and have in the past, but instead I see the imperfect flyers, and I think “Eh, they’re good enough.”
And I realize that “good enough” can be my new mantra. What if my business was good enough?
And not just my business, but my home, my family, my bank account, my body, my mind, me. What if I am good enough? None of it is perfect. And that’s ok.
When you come to Source Yoga, you come to an imperfect and very human business. We are doing our best. We try to make good decisions, but we make mistakes sometimes. We have successes, and sometimes we struggle, but we are resilient. We do our best to pick ourselves up and recommit to the reason we are here – to create a welcoming space, to share yoga and mindfulness in the best way we are able, to make a difference in our community and in our world.
Another business might have cleaner flyers and are sleeker on social media, might be offering trendier classes, but here we are, human, imperfect, offering the best our hearts and minds are able. I hire teachers that teach from their heart, that believe that yoga is for any-body. We commit to making these ancient practices of yoga and meditation accessible and relevant in our daily lives, while doing our best to honor the wisdom traditions these practices came from. We might not do that perfectly either, but we are doing our best to learn, grow, adapt, and keep on keeping on, imperfectly as we are.
It’s not that I won’t continue to do the work there is to be done, but there is an ease in knowing the work that I have done up to this point allows for a pause and a breath. I know what there is to do, and I know I don’t have to do it all myself. I have an incredible team of teachers and staff, not to mention a vibrant community of students/practitioners that come and commit every week to being on the mat, showing up perfectly imperfect.
With such an alive and vital community, I can say I truly no longer feel like I own Source Yoga. I feel, instead, that I am a steward of Source Yoga. I am caring for it as long as I am able, so that it can continue to be a presence, a hub, and a refuge in our community. We all need a place we can come to and feel safe and at home. For me to continue to care for Source Yoga, to keep it alive and thriving and offering value, I am giving myself permission to rest in “good enough.”
And I hope that’s a gift to the community too. Perhaps this is what makes Source Yoga continue to be relevant and valuable. Because Source is a place you can come to be your imperfect self. Where you can let go of trying to be better, where you can take a breath and a deep exhale and think maybe, just maybe I don’t have to improve myself. I don’t need a better body. I don’t need a better mind. I don’t need a better life. This is ok. This is good, just here. Sustaining. Whole. Enough.
PS: Does embracing yourself as “good enough” sound easier said than done? Join Melissa Paz starting this Monday evening for the start of a 6-week series, Living Self Compassion. When we practice self-compassion, we begin to befriend ourselves instead of improving ourselves. This series is appropriate for all levels of students. Beginners are welcome. Learn more here.
Also, take a look at an upcoming series with Kelly Valenzuela focused on learning to cultivate energy and vitality through Pranayama (breath practices) – Illuminating the Vital Body. Because working with the breath allows us to tap into the subtle energy channels that underlie our physical structure, results of a regular pranayama practice can include clearing energetic blockages, feeling energized internally while also settled, and the mind becoming more light, at ease, and clear. Learn more here.
And offer your children freedom from perfection as they explore yoga with our fabulous family yoga teachers. All family yoga fall series begin this week. Take a look here.
See you in the studio!